How to Navigate a Divorce in Retirement or as an Empty-Nester

divorce in retirementSometimes, older couples drift apart and can become dissatisfied with a long-term marriage. Once the children leave the nest, some couples split up and move on to lead separate lives. Below LACFLA lists some critical factors to consider while navigating divorce in retirement.


Figure Out If Your Social Security Payments Are Going to Change

In your retirement years, Social Security is a substantial income source, so it is vital to discover how a divorce may affect your Social Security payments. Generally, you’ll be qualified for whichever spouse’s benefits are greater, or as much as 50% of your previous partner’s Social Security benefit, as long as you were married for a minimum of 10 years and you are presently unmarried.  Spousal payments are decreased if you begin to collect benefits before full retirement age. But you might not have the ability to claim spousal Social Security payments if you were not married for a minimum of ten years or you remarry. Look at your Social Security statement on the internet or stop by your area Social Security office to obtain a full explanation based upon your specific circumstances.

Consider Whether You Should Hire an Attorney

Whatever pot of money you need to divide up will be much smaller should you proceed through a litigated divorce.  Usually an equitable solution is the fastest and most economical method of getting on with your life, such as a collaborative divorce


Get Ready for the Possibility of Spousal Support

If the children are self-supporting and grown, there probably isn’t any necessity for child support. However, there still may be spousal support involved, especially if one partner stayed home to care for the children while the other spouse earned the majority of the income. This may be a delicate issue and is better negotiated and discussed through your collaborative divorce team.

Determine If You’ll Keep the House

When the children are young, the custodial spouse typically is the one who remains in the family’s home. Once the children are grown, it might make more sense to sell the property and rent or buy two smaller places. If one or both partners have a personal attachment to the home, there might be a more complicated negotiation. Carefully think about where you want to reside as you start this new stage of life.

Consider contacting LACFLA to discuss whether collaborative divorce is the right option for your circumstance.  Collaborative divorce is a private, respectful way to divorce with no appearances in court.  Protect your future as well as your family by considering a consensual dispute resolution process such as collaborative divorce.

Interested in Collaborative?  Learn more here.

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